The stage from the crowd at Live Aid famine Relief Concert for Africa, Wembley Stadium, London
These days it’s regarded as a triumph, but the music press at the time was decidedly sniffy about Live Aid. NME’s Gavin Martin bemoaned the absence of black artists on the bill, and said the concerts were “unwilling to address the furious conflicts of ideologies… that allowed the African disaster to happen.” In the same issue, Don Watson dismissed it as “corporate pop turned corporative charity.”
Music – Live Aid – Paul McCartney
In the run-up to the UK leg of Live Aid, which took place at Wembley Stadium on 13 July 1985, it was rumoured that The Beatles would reform especially for the show. The Sun even splashed the story on their front page. But it wasn’t to be – Paul McCartney performed, but without George and Ringo.
Music Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin’s reunion performance was terrible. It was so bad, in fact, they refused to allow the footage to be included on the DVD in 2004, labelling it “substandard”. Watching it on YouTube, you have to say they have a point.
Live Aid Concert Launch – Wembley Stadium
Indeed, there were a fair few duff performances on the day. Missing the spirit of the event, Adam Ant failed to play any of his hits, instead chugging through his then-current single, ‘Vive Le Rock’. “It died a death,” recalls The Independent’s Nick Harris.
PEOPLE DURAN DURAN
Duran Duran’s Simon le Bon embarrassed himself by missing a note by miles during ‘A View To A Kill’. You can hear it in this clip, at 2.54. It became known as the Bum Note Heard Around The World.
Whereas the UK leg opened with a performance by the much-loved Status Quo (or, strictly speaking, the band of the Coldstream Guards), one of the opening acts on the US leg was an obscure local band called The Hooters. Geldof was incensed, telling Rolling Stone: “Who the fuck are The Hooters?”